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"Somebody Somewhere," the new HBO series that showcases the wildly talented Bridget Everett, is set in the star's hometown of Manhattan, Kan. But Minnesota played a key role in the sitcom's development.

That's because co-creator Paul Thureen was raised on a farm just 10 miles north of East Grand Forks. He spent summers as a teenager teaching at Concordia College's Language Village just outside Bemidji. He got married three years ago at Minneapolis' Lynhall in a ceremony officiated by actor and University of Minnesota professor Luverne Seifert, whom Thureen met during a summer internship in 2001 at Theatre de la Jeune Lune.

Thureen, 43, talked about how his Minnesota experiences helped shape the HBO series, which airs at 9:30 p.m. Sundays and streams on HBO Max, and his career in a phone conversation from his home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Q: When was the last time you were back home?
A: My parents now live in downtown Minneapolis. I was there in August to visit them. It was supposed to be for a week, but my dad had emergency surgery. So I ended up staying for three months. Post-production for the series was all done from Minneapolis.

Q: What was it like editing and putting the show together remotely?
A: It was great. My parents live near Loring Park so we could walk to Target. My mom treats the skyway like it's her hometown. She's got to stop and talk to every shopkeeper. I'd drive my nephew to school in the morning, drive around the Lake of the Isles and think about the day while listening to NPR. You don't get to drive much in New York. It's a nice escape.

Q: How did you get interested in writing?
A: My father grew potatoes, wheat and barley. But my mom taught Norwegian at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and also wrote children's books and co-ran a writers' conference on children's literature. There were always authors in the house. I got involved in theater in high school. Creative voices find each other. I and the other theater nerds would get together at Perkins. My friend and I were really into David Letterman. We would write our own Top 10 lists.

Q: How did the farming background help prepare you for a life in show business?
A: It really informs your work ethic and not taking yourself too seriously. When you grow up in rural Minnesota, you learn to use your imagination. My sister and I would use a tractor as a jungle gym.

Q: What did you learn from your summer at Theatre de la Jeune Lune that was helpful when you cofounded your own theater company, The Debate Society?

A: Creative problem solving. The people there could take a table, a bottle, a balloon and a stick and make magic out of it. That's what we did when we started our company. We threw chili cook-offs to raise money and collected props in the street. One time, we found a piece of a car in the street and just kept it in our apartment for a year until we could work it into a play. That spirit came from de la Jeune. By the way, the same summer I was there, I also had a job at a standardized testing center. That's why Bridget's character works at one in the show.

Q: Bridget is bigger than life in her stand-up act. She's much more down-to-earth in the series. How did you know she was right for the part?

A: Bridget was already attached before myself and my writing partner, Hannah Bos, came on. They reached out to us because of the Midwest connection. We knew Bridget a little beforehand so we knew her shows were big and crazy. But then she would sing a Christmas carol or tell a story that would leave you bawling. There are so many layers to her.

Q: You spoke of admiring Letterman. Then you ended up appearing on his "Late Show." How did that happen?

A: Dave liked to make jokes about Swedes. Occasionally, I would wander on stage and tell jokes in Swedish or Norwegian. I think I did it about four times. It was really incredible to be out there standing next to Dave, but also terrorizing.

Q: You made a film in 2019 called "Driveways" that ended up being one of the last performances for Brian Dennehy. What do you remember about him?
A: He was lovely. People know him from movies like "Rambo" and stuff, but if you were in the theater, he was the guy. In between takes, he would regale people with stories about the theater, Hollywood and drunken nights in Ireland. He was 80 at the time, but his body seemed much older than that. Moving around wasn't easy for him. But he seemed really happy to be there. Near the end of the movie, he delivers his devastating monologue that's based on stories about my dad.

Q: Your dad must have been thrilled.
A: He watched his movies all the time. Theater is great, but there's something so permanent about a movie or TV show. With "Somebody," Dad can now watch anytime.